Lost Five Homes in Five Hurricanes
Melanie Martinez is lucky to be alive. In 2012, Martinez, her husband and her elderly mother were trapped in their attic as the storm surge from Hurricane Isaac flooded her home south of New Orleans. They desperately hammered and punched their way through the roof where they were finally rescued along with their five cats and three dogs.
Yet being alive is about the only thing lucky about Martinez, who has the unfortunate distinction of losing not one, not two, but five separate houses to five separate hurricanes. True, Martinez chose to rebuild her house five times in the same Louisiana flood plain, but what are the odds that Hurricanes Betsy (1965), Juan (1985), George (1998), Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012) would rip through each and every one of them?
To add insult to injury, Martinez's last house was selected for a $20,000 makeover by the A&E reality show "Hideous Houses," which installed a new kitchen, new appliances and a new sewing room just for Martinez. The transformation was aired a few weeks before the arrival of Hurricane Isaac. Needless to say, it's all gone now [source: Carroll].
When asked why she continued to live in that spot, Martinez told The Guardian in 2012, "I was born here. It's home, home, home. But we want to move somewhere that's hilly, you know? To a house on a hill."